Every so often I would feel pain and discomfort in the back of my mouth – my teeth to be more accurate. It would usually last a few days and then things would go back to normal. So what did I do to take care of it? You guessed it – nothing! I was too scared to go to the dentist. The thought of having someone invade my personal space and look deep into my mouth was just too much for me. It ranked up there with going to the gynecologist – almost. Anyhow, I knew there was a problem but I chose to ignore it – I just didn’t want to deal with it.
The few days of suffering each year for 20+ years was a price I was willing to pay. I do care about my teeth and I have been to the dentist but not as often as I should. So to avoid having to be repeatedly told to pull these teeth – I sought out home remedies. The internet is a great source of information – especially when you are trying to become your own dentist and hygienist .
Well last month my world of dentistry crashed all around me.
My teeth felt pain like I’ve never experienced before, and nothing would stop it. Swishing with salt water, rinsing with hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil pulling – nothing! So I called my mom and asked her if she had any extra antibiotics lying around. She did! (I know what you’re thinking). So I picked up the pills, popped 2 in my mouth (along with ibuprofen), and prayed it would help. It did bring some relief and I was so happy I thought I could cry. So for the next few days I would take 2 pills a day – one in the morning and one before bed. Then it dawned on me – “what happens when I run out of pills?” I panicked.
I realized the pain wasn’t going to subside and I had to go to the dentist. So I began to search for one on Yelp. I was desperate to find my healer, and trusted the reviews of strangers to help me make this choice. I made the call, spoke to a nice woman, but discovered the next available appointment was over a month away! So what did I do? Yep, I took the appointment. Robbie wasn’t happy that I didn’t try a different dentist, but I was convinced I could deal with it and wait. I was so foolish.
The next 2 weeks were hell. I had to ration the pills which meant increased pain. For some reason evenings were the WORST – it was utterly unbearable. I was forced to take things to the next level – Tequila. I swished it around my mouth like mouthwash and waited. Within 2 minutes I was completely PAIN FREE. I was shocked and surprised and grateful that the results lasted over 24 hours. So my tequila mouthwash routine continued every other day for a week. I was relieved to be free of the pain but then began to wonder “Am I turning into an alcoholic?” I finally gave in and hunted for another dentist.
Four days later I’m in the dentist chair being told what I already knew – my wisdom teeth needed to be extracted. In fact one tooth was broken and missing pieces – causing a lot of my pain. I opted for nitrous oxide – and out came my teeth. I experienced pain and discomfort for the next couple of weeks. But this time it was different. Healing was taking place and I knew after a period of time the pain would permanently go away.
This is the exact picture of my life.
Since the age of 5 I’ve carried a tidal wave of pain, misery and loss. The sneaky lie is to think it’s easier to stuff it way down deep inside you and forget it. The truth is you can never forget it, and ignoring it will only bring torment. For many years I searched for the magic formula that would make this all go away, but there isn’t one.
I’ve tried building a wall around me to protect myself from harm, but later discovered I only built my own prison.
I tried to control almost everything in my life in the hopes of maintaining order (and avoid unwanted surprises) – only to have it slip though my fingers.
I searched the wrong places for peace and it has never lasted.
Doing it on my own has always failed.
It took me a long time to learn either way I’m going to experience pain – so why not deal with it so I can finally be free? Two things have helped mend my soul: confronting my abuse head on and placing my pain and scars into God’s hands. Both are terrifying and difficult. Even after all this time (occasionally) I will fight sitting in the “dentist chair”. Healing can be a painful process but if you don’t run from it, and seek outside help – the outcome can be life changing!
**Story highlight – My self-practicing dentistry wasn’t a complete failure – at my follow-up appointment I learned I had ZERO cavities!**